Friday, December 23, 2011

TSA Week In Review: Holy Flare Guns, Batman!

Batman Knife
Holy Prohibited Items List Batman, why didn’t you put this in your checked baggage with your grappling gun? This knife was found  at San Antonio (SAT).
Flares & Flaregun
A FLARE GUN with SEVEN FLARES was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Norfolk (ORF). Haven’t they listened to the lyrics of Smoke On The Water? Strangely enough, another flare gun was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag later in the week at Knoxville (TYS).
2 MK-19 inert grenades were found in a carry-on bag at Manchester (MHT). The passenger stated they were “stocking stuffers.” More inert grenades were found at Kansas City (MCI), Montgomery (MGM), and Savannah (SAV). Read here and here why even inert grenades at the airport are a problem even though they can’t explode.
A passenger at Phoenix (PHX) noticed their laptop was missing and reported it to TSA supervisor. The supervisor reviewed the CCTV video footage and identified the passenger who took it. After reporting it to airport police, the passenger was arrested and the laptop was returned to its rightful owner.
In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also found stun guns, throwing stars, realistic replica firearms, firearm components, butterfly knives, switchblades, an asp, an expandable baton, brass knuckles, ammunition a 6 ½” combat knife, a 7” butcher knife, cat eyes, and various other knives of different lengths larger than 3”.
Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home.

Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport. 
On the other hand, there are artfully concealed items...  Artfully concealed means that the prohibited item was intentionally concealed with the intention of sneaking it through security:
A 4” knife was found concealed in a walking cane at San Diego (SAN). The passenger was extremely shocked it was there!
A box cutter was found hidden in the lining of a passenger’s bag at Miami (MIA)
A .380 magazine with six rounds was found concealed in the lining of a passenger’s carry-on bag at Gulfport (GPT). If they read my blog posts, they would know that the lining of the bag is not X-ray proof.
A 15” sword cane was discovered at Northwest Florida Beaches (VPS) again… The passenger was shocked.
We posted on this one earlier in the week, but two 6 1/2” throwing knives were found in a hollowed out book at Washington National (DCA).
A knife was found taped to the bottom of the handle of a passenger’s carry-on bag at Indianapolis (IND).
A small knife was found concealed an empty CD Rom drive at Peoria (PIA).
Our officers found 21 loaded firearms and 5 unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. Here’s a rundown of the 26 firearms our officers kept off of airplanes this week: 
  • 12/16: SDF – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – RSW – Unloaded .380 – MCO – Unloaded .25
  • 12/17: DTW – Loaded .40
  • 12/18: CMH – Loaded .357 – JAX – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – COS – Unloaded .40 – DFW – Loaded .380 – ATL – Loaded .38
  • 12/19: MCO – Loaded pistol w/ Round Chambered
  • 12/20: TUL – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – SEA – Unloaded .22 – PDX – Loaded .32 – RSW – Loaded .380 – DFW – Loaded .380 w/Round Chambered
  • 12/21: PHL – Loaded .25 w/ Round Chambered – TYS – Loaded 9mm – ATL – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – AUS – Loaded 9mm – SAT – Unloaded .380
  • 12/22: ELP – Loaded .32 – AUS – Loaded .357 – RSW – Loaded .380 – FLL – Loaded 9mm w/ Round Chambered – LIT – Loaded .380 – IAH – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered
You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. 

We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way.

 Including checkpoint and checked baggage screening, TSA has 20 layers of security both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt. 
If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

Cane Sword
Knives concealed in book. KnifeKnife